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HOOPS FACE CLOSED-DOORS DERBY

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CELTIC will play Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox outfit before the end of October, according to a report in the Scottish Sun.

Hoops boss Neil Lennon had urged the SPFL hierarchy and Sky Sports supremos to push back the Glasgow derby until it could be guaranteed supporters in the stadium with the first meeting due at Parkhead.

But the Irishman could be disappointed with the SPFL set to announce their top-flight fixture list a week tomorrow and it is alleged the games will be played within two months of the Premiership’s scheduled kick-off on August 1.

Reports suggest the satellite broadcasting giants might want to stage the match in the opening four weeks.

As CQN reported earlier this month, Lennon said: “Should the first Old Firm game be pushed back? I think that’s what everyone would want.

“Everyone associated with the game would want it and so would the clubs. I’m sure the TV companies would want it, as well.

“I don’t know. If that’s the way it has to be, so be it. But I do think the authorities will look at it and try to push it back.

“It would give us more of a chance of getting punters back to the games.”

There were three packed houses when the Parkhead and Ibrox sides locked horns last time out with the champions winning two of the encounters.

Goals from Odsonne Edouard and Jonny Hayes, who has just returned to Aberdeen, gave Lennon’s side the points from the Govan confrontation at the start of September.

And Christopher Jullien was the marksman when the teams met again in the Betfred League Cup Final on December 8 as the holders lifted their tenth successive domestic trophy.

However, there was a setback when Gerrard’s outfit won their first match in the east end of Glasgow in nine years on December 29.

It didn’t prevent the Hoops from romping to their ninth successive title, though, when they were awarded the championship after sitting on top of the league with eight games to play before football went into lockdown in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 
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